PHOENIX -- Arizona's biggest business advocacy group is calling on Gov. Jan Brewer to veto a bill allowing business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to refuse service to gays.
The legislation passed last week has triggered a national backlash from supporters of gay rights, and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is among business groups requesting a veto.
The chamber said Monday the bill could hurt tourism, make it hard to recruit new businesses and open the door to lawsuits against businesses.
In a letter sent to Brewer, the group said:
Dear Governor Brewer:
"After careful study and analysis of Senate Bill 1062, our organizations, which represent the broad spectrum of Arizona's business community, respectfully request that you veto this bill.
"We are concerned over the potential for businesses to be exposed to an increased risk of litigation. Businesses carry out laws every day that could, under the construct of this legislation, be construed as a "state action," which could result in increased disputes over the application of current and future law. We are troubled by any legislation that could be interpreted to permit discrimination against a particular group of people in the marketplace.
"The legislation is also already clearly having a negative effect on our tourism industry, one of the largest sectors of the economy. The bill could also harm job creation efforts and our ability to attract and retain talent. We all have a fervent desire for Arizona to be a welcoming, attractive destination for the top talent that will be the cornerstone of our continued economic growth.
"If specific Arizona issues related to religious liberty are identified, we would stand ready to work with anyone to ensure that any solution addresses those problems while also ensuring that all individuals feel welcome in our state and that business is not hurt."
The letter was signed by Tom Franz, president/CEO of the Greater Phoenix Leadership; Glenn Hamer, president/CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Todd Sanders, president/CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and Ron Shoopman, president of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council.
Conservative groups supporting the legislation are pushing back and hoping Brewer signs it in to law.
The state Senate will formally send the already approved bill to Brewer on Monday. She would then have five days to act.
- SB 1062 opposition begins pushing back
- Lawyer says SB 1062 fight is just beginning
- Gov. Jan Brewer vetoes SB 1062
- CAP President: Veto marks 'tragic day'
- Arizona politicians react to SB 1062 veto
- Council thanks Brewer for SB 1062 veto
- Rob's 5: Big black eyes in Arizona history
- Brewer holds meetings on SB 1062
- Report: NFL may move Super Bowl from AZ
- The basics of SB 1062
- Final Word: AZ out to make a fool of itself?
- AZ senator defends SB 1062 on 'AC360'
- Meghan McCain 'horrified' at SB 1062
- Farmer throws support behind SB 1062
- SB 1062 could affect 2015 Super Bowl
- Group addresses 'misinformation' about bill
- St. James: Should AZ care what others think?
- Karie: SB 1062 Stand Your Ground for bigots
- McMahon: Bon appetit, Arizona
- Foster: 'We reserve the right'
- Senator: 'Lapse' when voting for SB 1062
- Hispanic lawyers pull AZ conference
- Official: Arizona tourism loses with SB 1062
- Expert: Bill won't derail economic recovery
- Valley restaurant takes stand against bill
- Phx business showing SB 1062 disgust
- Go Daddy releases anti-SB 1062 statement
- George Takei rips Arizona over SB 1062
- Apple adds to anti-SB 1062 sentiments
- State treasurer says veto Arizona bill
- Three senators urge veto of SB 1062
- Service refusal bill bad for Ariz. taxpayers
- SB 1062 opponents protest at capitol
- Council urges Brewer to veto SB 1062
- AZ governor hopefuls weigh in on SB 1062
- Religious service bill riles gay supporters
- Dignity Health World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.
- Eyes on Education A view of Arizona's education system from all angles.